England Captain Joe Root has come out and said that his side is very well aware of the threat that India's best batsman and their leader Virat Kohli possesses and leading up to the series, the home side is extremely determined to ensure they get him out as soon as he arrives to crease during the Test series. Virat is batting the better than he ever has but Joe Root reiterated that England have some good plans for the world's best batsmen to counter and come through.
In a press conference, when Root got asked whether Kohli would still be feeling the disappointment of his last England Test tour in 2014, he replied, “The only person that can answer that is Virat, In my point of view, ultimately we know how good a player he is. He has come a long way in the last few years in particular in this format. We feel we got some strong plans in place. Ultimately when you play against the world’s best players, they generally have the answers. We have got to be very strong on the areas we bowl to him and very clear how we want to get him out.”
Of course, England have announced that playing XI already and have picked leg-spinner Adil Rashid as the lone spinner, an indication that the pitch would help seamers, especially after rain at the weekend. All-rounder Sam Curran also comes while off-spinner Moeen Ali and uncapped seamer Jamie Porter will sit out.
Root talked about the decisions and said, “We looked at the surface and decided we want to go with only one spinner and that will be Adil. Sam is going to play and Jamie is going to miss out. With the amount of right-handers and what we think is going to be India’s team, Adil gives us a very attacking option. We are very excited; he is obviously bowling with a huge amount of confidence at the moment."
Root further talked about how big an occasion this is for his team, saying, “The atmosphere is fantastic when we come here. We expect the same this time too. The conditions have suited us here in the past, but ultimately it’s about starting well.”
“I think the way we came back against Pakistan at Headingley(in June) was a real starting point for this group of players. Ultimately, we got five games against the world No 1 ranked side. We can make a statement if we play well and win this series. It is going to be hard and we got to be very consistent.”
The first game of the five-match Test series starts on Wednesday, August 1.
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)